*This article was first posted on the Philippine Daily Inquirer dated February 21, 2014 http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/152132/will-you-go-to-the-ball-with-me
Promenade ball, prom, JS prom, graduation ball, gala night—special occasions that come with different names, yet all ultimately are the same event which has become a perplexing tradition for junior and senior high-school students.
It becomes even more complex when you take into account several different factors that have stemmed from these much-talked about occasions.
If you walk past the third year high-school corridor, you’re sure to come across the words “prom,” “promposal,” “promblems” or one of those other prom-related words. And it wouldn’t end there; as months fly by and the date of the prom gets closer and closer, students suddenly have to start thinking about how to “prompose,” and more important, who to ask.
For those who’ve been going to their soirées and school interactions or have been constantly waiting outside their favorite all girls’ or all boys’ school, finding the one can be such a problem, for obvious reasons.
Many students of non-coed schools rely on Facebook in looking for “promspects.” Your family, friends and even relatives suddenly get involved in the process, as “Who are you going to take to prom?” becomes a frequently asked question.
Then you have to face different fears, like the possibility that you guys won’t click and your prom night will be forever ruined, or the possibility that he or she may not like you, or your friend might also want to ask the same person.
And when you finally find that one special promspect, you realized that it’s just the start of a bigger promblem.
From candles and fireworks to personalized cakes and cookies and original music videos posted on Youtube, students have come up with different ways of promposing to their dates.
The anxiety that fills you as you prepare and think about whether or not your date would say yes to your promposal can drive you nuts.
You want it to be memorable, but at the same time, you don’t want to send the wrong message, especially if you’re asking your close friend. You don’t want your promposal to look too cheap or too “bongga”; you want it to be “sakto lang.”
And right when you’re about to prompose already, you suddenly wonder whether it would be better to just have have your friend set you up with another friend instead.
No matter how complicated prom has become, it’s still a night we all want to remember, for “we only go through our prom once.” Just like our parents, aunties, uncles and even grandparents talk about their prom experience, we too want to one day have something to reminisce and talk about.
Some students are also invited to go to several different proms, and have a chance to add on to their prom memories.
For me, I was lucky to have gotten the chance to go to the Immaculate Conception Academy junior’s prom last Feb. 15. It was a night to remember, because for a moment there, I felt just like a junior again. I felt as if I could travel through time and go back to the medieval ages, when castles stood high. It was a phantasmagorical feeling that one does not get to experience every day.
As I saw couples take photos, laugh, smile and enjoy the magical moment, I suddenly realized the beauty in being a high-school student. Although high school may not last forever, just like prom, the senior’s graduation ball is one of the memories that can last forever.
Finding a date for prom or ball doesn’t have to be such a hassle. As overrated as it may sound, the high-school ball is more than just an event. It’s a rite of passage, and the culmination of all our different experiences in high school, from meeting new people to trying out new things, taking risks and leaving a legacy.
And so I’d like to leave a legacy and ask her, “Mai, will you go to the ball with me?”